Since starting in 2004, Tallgrass Express has evolved in many directions, thanks to the varied talents and perspectives of the ten different musicians who have joined us over the years.  It's a huge commitment to be in a band.  We are thankful to all our former band members (listed below) for their contributions and friendship.  (For current member info - see BAND BIO's.)

Founding member CHARLIE LAUGHRIDGE (fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, concertina and vocals), played with us for ten years and is on the band’s first four albums, Tallgrass Express is indebted to Charlie for all his talent, experience, and musical instincts for our first decade.  (2004-2014)

Founding member LOREN RATZLOFF (banjo, mandolin and vocals) played with the band for eight years, contributing his kind nature, entertaining wit, and versatile talents on instrumentation and harmonies.  He played on our first three albums.  (2004-2012)

Founding band member GARY RINEHART, a talented and encouraging collaborator, helped us get started, playing bass with us on our first album.   Soon after this, he retired and began traveling the country.  (2004-2005)

We were fortunate to have the talent of CAROLE BROWN who played  bass for us in the studio on our 2007 album Tallgrass Express Comes Back.   Her musical instincts and creative bass lines added depth to the 18 songs on this recording. A classically trained musician who plays in orchestras and jazz bands in Kansas City, Carole at the time was living completely off the grid in a remote valley in the Flint Hills.  (2007)